LDS Temples and Biblical Temples Compared

Temples and temple work hold a prominent place in Mormonism.  As it talks about their temples, it often links them with the temple in the Bible.  Therefore it is proper to compare the two.

The first comparison deals with whether or not the Lord is present.  The LDS manual, True to the Faith, states:  “They are holy places of worship where the Lord may visit” (p.170, my emphasis).

The Bible, however, says that the temple was where the Lord dwelt. First in regard to the tabernacle we read:  “And I will dwell among the children of Israel, and will be their God. 46 And they shall know that I am the Lord their God, that brought them forth out of the land of Egypt, that I may dwell among them: I am the Lord their God.” (Exodus 29:45-56, my emphasis)  Then, at the dedication of the temple, Solomon says:” The Lord hath said that he would dwell in the thick darkness. But I have built an house of habitation for thee, and a place for thy dwelling for ever.” (2 Chronicles 6:1-2 my emphasis)

What is even more striking is what the New Testament says.  Peter, in his first letter, identifies the temple with the assembly of believers.  “Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ” (1 Peter 2:5).  But that’s not all.  Paul, writing to the Corinthians, said:   “Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you? 17 If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy; for the temple of God is holy, which temple ye are.” (1 Cor 6: 16-17).  In a similar way, Jesus said: “Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him” (John 14:23). Not only all believers taken together, but individual believers are the temple of God!

I take away two points from this. The first is that the Bible emphasizes that temples are places where God dwells.  Mormonism, however, sees God only visiting the temple.  That coincides with its belief that God has a body of flesh and bones and thus can’t dwell in numerous temples at the same time.  Thus Mormonism’s main focus in on the work they do in the temple – something I want to address next time.

More importantly, how much more exhilarating and glorious is the New Testament teaching on believers being the temple of God!  This becomes even more apparent when we see that the Greek word Paul used in I Corinthians was one used for the holy of holies.  We are the holy of holies.  In the Old Testament only one man, the high priest, could enter the holy of holies.  And he could only do it on one day each year, the Day of Atonement.  We, however, because Jesus has removed the sin that separates us from God (signified dramatically with the temple veil being torn at his death) have now become that very temple!  The more you think about it, the more thrilling it becomes.

And there are not some believers who are worthy to be temples and some who aren’t. No, all believers are God’s temples.  God, in his love, bestows this honor on each and every person who trusts that they are acceptable to God solely because of what Jesus has done for them.  To Jesus be ALL praise and glory.

4 Responses to “LDS Temples and Biblical Temples Compared”

  1. September 23, 2012 at 6:26 am

    Great info contrasting the Jewish Temples in the Bible with Mormon temples. There are other contrasts
    relative to this topic that shine a spotlight on the huge difference in gospels—-the one preached by Jesus’
    apostles in the N.T. and the one preached by Mormon apostles . One Mormon apostle taught that their
    Temples were to LDS : ” when acceptably dedicated, become to us the gates of heaven.”
    [ Franklin Richards , JofD v25p231]. but Jesus revealed another WAY to heaven , another door /gate
    to gain God’s presence —-HIM —-Jn 10:9 . This way to eternal life was revealed 2000 years ago and
    it still is the only door that leads to heaven, not some man made door of a Temple. Further contrast
    is seen in the requirements to open the door to gain access to heaven . For those desiring to completely
    follow Jesus a simple surrender of the will and asking for forgiveness relying solely on the merits of
    the Savior gains access to God’s presence above, whereas a permission slip signed by a fellow sinner
    (Bishop) only after passing a questionaire , gives a person access to the man made Temples of
    Mormonism. Add to all this is the fact that the requirements to open the door to these man made
    Temples has exhibited a unstable , vacillating pattern since the first Mormon Temple was built .
    Thankfully, the true gospel of salvation is not an complex system of rules to keep in order to gain
    God’s presence and eternal life . Rather, access to heaven is through a person , a person who is able
    to lead us by the hand to heaven because of who He is —- the Majestic Savior, Mediator and
    yes, the Door . This is the only WAY to heaven , not through a man made temple —Heb 7:25;Eph 2:18
    Jn 14:1-6

  2. 2 Kent
    September 23, 2012 at 11:59 am

    Yes, eternal life is in the Son and if we have the Son we have eternal life minus though ever being gods ourselves. But isn’t being with Heavenly Father forever enough? It is good enough for me!

    The following passages say nothing about having to be temple worthy or even that any temple is needed for eternal life. They just say that eternal life is in the Son, Jesus Christ, period!

    1 John 5:9-13

    9 If we receive the witness of men, the witness of God is greater: for this is the witness of God which he hath testified of his Son.
    10 He that believeth on the Son of God hath the witness in himself: he that believeth not God hath made him a liar; because he believeth not the record that God gave of his Son.
    11 And this is the record, that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in his Son.
    12 He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life.
    13 These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God

    In fact saying people have to be temple worthy and they have to obey a bunch of ordinances and laws is telling people to establish their own righteousness and is actually being disobedient to God who wants us to have faith in His Son and what He did by dying on the cross and rising again on the third day. So the Mormons today are doing what Paul was saying the Jews of his day should not have been doing, which was trying to establish their own rightousness by the law. Eternal life is not in what we do it is in what He did.

    Romans 10:1-13

    1 Brethren, my heart’s desire and prayer to God for Israel is, that they might be saved.

    2 For I bear them record that they have a zeal of God, but not according to knowledge.

    3 For they being ignorant of God’s righteousness, and going about to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted themselves unto the righteousness of God.

    4 For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believeth.

    5 For Moses describeth the righteousness which is of the law, That the man which doeth those things shall live by them.

    6 But the righteousness which is of faith speaketh on this wise, Say not in thine heart, Who shall ascend into heaven? (that is, to bring Christ down from above:)

    7 Or, Who shall descend into the deep? (that is, to bring up Christ again from the dead.)

    8 But what saith it? The word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth, and in thy heart: that is, the word of faith, which we preach;

    9 That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.

    10 For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.

    11 For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed.

    12 For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him.

    13 For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.

    in closing again:



  3. 3 Kent
    September 23, 2012 at 12:09 pm

    Besides, why are temples even needed today? Because not only are believers the latter day temples of God, but also since the temple’s main function, apart from worship, was the animal sacrifices to cover the sins of the people, they are not needed anymore especially since Jesus’ death on the cross took away the sins of the world once and for all.



  4. September 26, 2012 at 11:45 pm

    Reblogged this on Let It Shine and commented:
    Excellent comparison of the temple in the Bible and the temple of Mormonism.

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